Bong Go & Duterte

Bong Go welcomes prioritization of seafarers for inoculation

June 2, 2021 People's Tonight 417 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go has commended President Rodrigo Duterte and concerned authorities for heeding his appeal to give seafarers the appropriate vaccines that are acceptable in their respective countries of destination.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Pangulong Duterte dahil pinakinggan po niya ang ating apela na mag-allocate ng mga bakunang kailangan ng ating mga seafarers upang muli na silang makabalik sa kanilang trabaho,” said Go.

“May ilan sa kanila na nag-aalinlangan na magpabakuna rito sa atin dahil may ibang mga bansa na naghahanap ng specific na brand, bagama’t napatunayan na namang ligtas at epektibo ang mga bakunang mayroon tayo,” he added.

In a recent interview on June 1, Go once again appealed to the public to trust the vaccines and support the National Vaccine Program in order to accelerate the rollout to a bigger part of the population.

“Magtulungan na lang po tayo. Ulitin ko, magpabakuna na kayo, ang dami pa ring takot dito. Kanina tinatanong ko, less than 50% pa po ang willing magpabakuna. Nandiyan na po ang bakuna, bubuksan na po ang A4 at A5 sa susunod na buwan para po bigyan na po ng tiyansa ang mahihirap nating mga kababayan,” Go said.

“At pinayagan na rin po ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga seafarers, mga OFWs, na bigyan po ng prayoridad. Unahin po silang bakunahan, dahil kadalasan dito, karamihan sa kanila ay hindi na po makakabalik agad sa bansa. Dapat secured na ang kanilang pagbabakuna, mauna sila. At bibigyan sila ng priority sa ‘western’ na bakuna, dahil ang iba pong mga kababayan natin ay ayaw magpabakuna ng ibang brand, dahil sinasabi ay ayaw silang tanggapin doon sa mga bansang pagtatrabahuhan nila,” he explained.

“Ayan na po, mai-encourage na po silang magpabakuna dahil kailangan nila sa pagtatrabahuhan nila. Bigyan sila ng prayoridad at pumayag na po si Pangulong Duterte especially po ‘yung mga OFWs na mayroon na pong kontrata sa ibang bansa at mga seafarers na kailangan na pong sumakay ng barko, at kadalasan sa mga ito ay hindi po bumababa ng barko sa loob ng isang buwan, kaya dapat sila po ay bakunado,” he added.

Duterte, during his Talk to the People address on Monday, May 31, said that he is open to giving seafarers the acceptable COVID-19 vaccines in their countries of destination as a prerequisite for their employment.

“We are ready to vaccinate them with a western brand. Our only concern here is that there is no violation of the equal protection clause because this is what the nature of their work requires,” Duterte said.

“It is not given to the seafarers not because they are a special breed that you need to give [special brands], but you have to give them because their work requires the vaccination of US-made vaccines,” he added,

Duterte, however, stressed that there should be no distinction among vaccine brands because those the country has accepted have been proven safe and effective already as it went through the proper regulatory procedures.

Earlier, Go appealed to Duterte, Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., and other officials who are leading the country’s National Vaccination Program to give overseas Filipino workers, including seafarers, their required vaccines based on preferences of their countries of destination.

“Karamihan din sa kanila ay kailangan nang ma-deploy abroad upang hindi mawala ang trabahong naghihintay sa kanila roon. Hindi na sila makakapag-antay pa ng panahon kung kailan magiging compliant na ang anumang brand ng bakuna sa iba’t ibang bansang pupuntahan nila,” Go said earlier.

“Kaya kung maaari, mag-allocate tayo ng bakuna na angkop para sa kanila na tanggap sa kanilang countries of destination. This must be done in compliance with requirements for vaccines coming from the COVAX facility, as well as our own vaccine prioritization order,” he added.

Meanwhile, Go continues to encourage OFWs to support the National Vaccine Rollout—with an assurance that their concerns are being considered. Go said that those belonging to the A1, A2, and A3 categories can already be vaccinated, while the rest who are part of the A4 category can be vaccinated as soon as supplies are sufficient to cater to the bigger population.

As the country accelerates the vaccine rollout, Go, then, assured that the government is taking into consideration the needs of all Filipinos in order to secure their lives as well as their livelihoods.

“Importante po ito dahil hindi lang kalusugan ang gusto nating proteksyunan, kundi pati rin ang trabaho at kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

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